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Principal's Message

August 10, 2018


Dear Parents and Guardians,


On behalf of the staff at Ella Lewis School, I am happy to welcome you to this new school year!  We look forward to a wonderful year in our partnership with you ensuring that our young people achieve their highest potential.  In order to be successful in school our young people need supportive and caring relationships from both home and school and we are thankful to you for all you do to support and encourage them from the home front. It makes a tremendous difference. As your partners we share in the promise for our children’s success and want you to know that we will do our very best to carry out our responsibilities.


There are many, many things for our young people to look forward to at ELS this coming year! For one, we are excited to welcome new staff to our team! Ms. Carey will be teaching grade 2 students this year and we welcome Ms. Amy Russell to the position of kitchen manager. Miss Foss will be teaching 8th grade, Ms. Kellogg is going to be teaching 1st grade, and Mrs. Worcester will be our Title I and Reading Recovery teacher this year. Mrs. Scott will be back with us working as a special education technician and Mrs. Willey will be working as a regular education technician. At this point we still have not filled the position of special education teacher but I am confident we will have a teacher for this role soon!


As you probably have noticed there has been a lot of work done on our gymnasium this summer! The project has been going extremely well and the gym looks so fresh and new! It’s so exciting to think about what it will look like when it is completely finished. At this point we are hoping for completion at the end of September if all goes well. This means that we will start the year without being able to use the gymnasium for any purpose because the last bit of the work involves installing a NEW gym floor!!! This will be a durable athletic wood-look floor surface that is similar to the gym floor at the Peninsula School. We are very excited about this whole project and though it will be inconvenient to stay out of the gym for the month of September, it will be worth it in the end to have this beautiful new space for everyone to enjoy! With that said, our schedule needed to be adapted to allow for the work to continue. Lunch and breakfast will be in the classrooms until the work is finished. Additionally, Physical Education classes will have to be held outside, weather permitting, of course. 5th grade, and 6-8 Bands and 6-8 chorus will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Henry D. Moore Library auditorium. Mr. Hodgdon, our music teacher, will escort students to and from the auditorium for classes.


The start time of our school day is also affected by the construction work. We have adjusted the bus pickup times so that students will arrive at school no earlier than 7:30 am. Teachers begin their workday at 7:30 am and where we used to have students arrive and go to the gym until 7:30 we no longer have that option. Busses will drop students off at 7:30 and students will proceed to the kitchen for their breakfast and then report directly to the classroom to eat their breakfast. Parents who elect to bring their kids to school should drop them off between 7:30 and 7:50 am.


As with all new beginnings, our year is full of promise and we are optimistic about all the wonderful things happening at our school! With personalized learning always at the forefront, our students will continue to have opportunities to learn through a variety of academic, co-and extracurricular programs.


        As your principal, I feel privileged and honored to be a member of this school family. Every day I find joy and deep purpose in my work here at the school with your children.  I am proud to work at ELS with such fine teachers, parents, grandparents, and young people. I feel very lucky and truly blessed.


        As I have said before, I am easily humbled by the awesome responsibility that comes with being a school principal.  I realize that many of the hopes and dreams of this community hang in balance with the work of preparing our young people to face their futures with vigor, compassion, and ultimately, success! I take this responsibility very, very seriously.  Though I know we will face challenges and complexities as the days and months unfold, I am also confident that we will be able to work through anything that arises and do our very best together for the children.


        It is an exciting time to be working in public education and I look forward to working with our students, families, and staff to provide the very best for what I believe is our community’s most precious asset, our young people!




Joanne C. Harriman